Commercial Auto Insurance for Your Business

When you own a business, there are many things to consider. Here’s one more thing: if you or your employees drive vehicles paid for by your company, you need a separate commercial auto insurance policy. Your personal auto policy will not cover both your personal and business vehicles, but a commercial auto policy will.In addition, a business auto policy will typically allow you to buy higher limits of coverage than on a personal auto policy, which more adequately protects your business.

What does commercial auto insurance cover?

Before you invest in an insurance policy, you probably want to know what it includes. More coveragescan be added with an additional cost to your annual premium, but these are the basics:

  • Auto liability coveragehelps you to pay for any damages or injuries that were caused by either you or your employees. Accidents can be costly, so this coverage helps soften the financial blow to your business. This is especially important in the event that your company is sued and must pay for legal advice.
  • Physical damage and collision coverageis used to pay for repairs in the event that your company vehicle is involved in an accident regardless of whether you or your employee were at fault.
  • Comprehensive coverageor other than collision (OTC) coverage pays for repairs that were caused by something other than a collision. For example, theft, weather-related incidents, vandalism, fire, etc. all fall under comprehensive coverage.If you live in an area with high crime rates or particularly violent weather, this coverage is a worthy investment.
  • Medical payments coveragehelps pay for any medical treatment as a result of an injury from an accident regardless of fault for you and your employees.
  • Uninsured motorist coverageprotects you in the event that you’re involved in an accident with someone that is driving without insurance. Similarly,underinsured motorist coverageis used to cover you when you’re in an accident with a driver that carries insurance limits too low to cover damage or any medical expenses.

 

Any company car or fleet vehicle that is the responsibility of your business qualifies as a commercial vehicle and should be covered under a commercial auto insurance policy. Risk Averse Insurance is an independent insurance agency, so we can shop the best prices for your commercial auto insurance policy. Give us a call at (610) 335-1139 for any questions or to request a quote!

 

Call Risk Averse Insurancein Media, PA to discuss your business or personal insurance.

Risk Averse Insurance is an insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.

Common Misconceptions About Insurance

We at Risk Averse recently ran a survey asking respondents to answer a variety of true/false questions about the insurance industry in order to gauge the general public’s familiarity with certain insurance policies. With the results from over 700 respondents, we created a brief video clarifying these common misconceptions about insurance… and some of the results may surprise you!

Workers Compensation Insurance

Our first question was whether workers’ compensation insurance is required when you have one or more employees. The majority of respondents answered this correctly; workers’ compensation is required if you have at least one employee. Even if you’re paying your employee on a 1099tax form, you still need coverage.

Red Cars and Insurance Rates

The next question was: true or false? Having a red car increases your insurance rates. The responses were 50/50, but the color of your car actually has no bearing on how much you pay for car insurance. Driving history, credit, age, and a number of other factors affect your premiums, but you can feel free to get any color vehicle you’d like as it will not raise your rates!

Flood Insurance

Another question on our survey asked whether flood insurance is covered on a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. It is not covered, but the majority of respondents believed that it was. If you live in a flood zone, it is essential that you purchase a separate flood insurance policy in the event that your home is flooded in order to receive compensation for lost or damaged property.

Professional Liability vs. General Liability

When asked if general liability offers the same coverages as professional liability, most respondents incorrectly voted that it does. Professional liability covers professional services while general liability does not. A general liability policy provideslegal representation and pays for covered damages caused by you or an employee. If you’re providing professional advice in some way, it’s important to get a professional liability insurance policy as general liability will not cover any claims that fall under these services.

Driving Without Insurance

Our next question asked respondents:true or false? It is illegal to drive a car in the U.S. without car insurance. Thankfully, most of thesurvey participants got this correct by selecting that it is true. However, this does not mean that there aren’t people on the road driving without coverage, so make sure you are protected with a car insurance policy.

Workers’ Compensation and General Liability

The last question in our survey asked whether workers’ compensation is covered under a general liability policy and most people got this correct as well. Employee injury is not one of the coverages included on a general liability policy, so it is essential that you purchase a separate workers’ comp policy if you have at least one employee.

Call Risk Averse Insurancein Media, PA to discuss your business or personal insurance.

Risk Averse Insurance is an insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.

What Insurance Do I Need if I’m Moving?

Are you planning on moving out of state? Along with all the other changes you’ll be making, you’ll need to update your insurance as well.

Moving is a big step that requires a lot of planning, and adjusting your insurance policies may not be the first task that comes to mind. That’s okay! We’ll outline what needs to be done so you can rest easy and know that you’re covered in the event of an accident or property damage.

 

Car Insurance

When you move, you need to make sure your insurance is placed in the state where you’ll be living. Luckily, you’ll have about 30-90 days to get your new insurance set up before it becomes a legal issue. You’ll also need to change the address on yourdriver’s licenseand vehicle registration, but this has to be done within 15 days of making the move in Pennsylvania.

You don’t necessarily need to change your insurance carrier; many carriers span across multiple states or even the whole United States. You’ll need to contact them, though, and let them know that you’re moving in order to update your car insurance policy.

If yourcurrent insurance company does not offer coverage in your new state, don’t panic! You can simply Google insurance companies in your area. The results will likely be overwhelming, so we recommend purchasing insurance through an independent broker as they can shop the best price for you. Moving is expensive and time-consuming, so passing the daunting task of finding a good insurance company to someone with all the necessary resources and experience is going to be your best bet.

As important as switching your car insurance is,do not cancel your current car insurance before you purchase a new policy. Driving without car insurance is illegal and potentially very expensive; if you get in an accident without coverage, you’ll be forced to pay the full cost of the damages out of pocket. Wait until you make the move to switch over your insurance. After all, you have up to 3 months to do so!

Property Insurance

When moving to any new property whether it be a house, apartment, condo, etc. you’ll need to update your insurance to reflect the new address. This applies even if you’re moving to a new location within the same state. Again, you may need to contact an entirely new insurance company to obtain a policy or simply let your current carrier know you’re moving if they have coverage in your state.

If you’re moving into an apartment or condo, some landlords will not allow you to move in without first obtaining a renter’s insurance policy effective the move-in date.The insurance policy that protects the building you are renting only provides coverage for the owner of that building. This means that if the building were to burn down, have a break-in, or experience any other potential loss, you’d be forced to pay for the expenses out of pocket.

Fortunately, renters insurance in Media, PA is cheap. Policies can be as low as $125 per year and ittakes very little time to get a quote. Furthermore, if you bundle with your auto insurance company, you will get a discount. In some cases, this discount is enough to eliminate the cost of a renter’s insurance policy altogether. Give Risk Averse a call at (610) 335-1139 for a quote!

Call Risk Averse Insurancein Media, PA to discuss your homeowners and car insurance.

Risk Averse Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.

Workers Compensation FAQ

If you’re a business owner, you’ve (hopefully) heard of workers’ compensation. Since this is such a well-known policy, we often get questions about the specifics of carrying this type of coverage. So, I sat down with Marc Millison, Owner and Commercial Account Executive at Risk Averse Insurance, and asked him some of the questions we hear the most. Below are his answers.

What does a workers’ compensation policy cover?

Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical expense and lost wages. It will pay 100% of the employees’ medical costs for all work-related injuries. If an employee is seriously injured and is unable to return to work right away, the workers’ compensation policy will also pay this employee’s lost wages. Currently, in Pennsylvania the maximum weekly wage is set at $1,049; an employee will be paid 66% of their normal wage subject to a max amount of $1,049 per week.

Is workers’ compensation required for all businesses?

No; workers’ compensation is only required for businesses with employees.

If you own a business by yourself, then, you don’t need a workers’ compensation policy?

Correct. Business owners are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania only if they have an employee. Corporate officers, LLC members, and sole proprietors are exempt and do not count as employees.

Does a general liability policy include workers’ compensation coverage?

Absolutely not. A general liability policy specifically excludes workers’ compensation. The General Liability policy excludes coverage for a lot of things like workers’ compensation and auto liability. The reason it excludes these exposures is that they are better covered under a different policy form. Workers’ compensation is never covered under a general liability policy.

We’ve had people request certificates of insurance with the holders listed as additionally insured for workers’ compensation. Why is this not possible?

“Additional insured” endorsements cannot be added to a worker’s compensation policy because workers’ compensation is primarily for the benefit of the insured’s employees, and a company cannot extend employees’ rights to someone who is not an employee. However, you can request a waiver of subrogation instead; a waiver of subrogation bars the injured employee’s workers’ compensation carrier from initiating a suit against another party.

Can an employee receive compensation for an injury that occurred outside of the workplace?

Yes and no. If an employee at an outside event for work such as a company luncheon or they’re out seeing clients, they are technically outside of the workplace. But if they get injured during a company event, they are covered. If they’re out on the weekend playing in a softball tournament and hurt their shoulder, they cannot put it under their workers’ comp.

To clarify, if I were about to drive home after work and I slipped and fell in the parking garage, that would not be covered?

Correct. Your commute to and from work is not covered. If you were walking to your car after hours and you slipped, that would not be a workers’ comp issue. However, if you reported to workand your employer sent you to go pick up office supplies and you slipped and fell at that time, that’s workers comp since you’re going out on a work duty.

What would the consequences be if an employer with one or more employees were to neglect to purchase workers’ compensation coverage and an employee experienced an injury?

Pennsylvania law requires employers to pay for medical costs and lost wages when employees sustain a work-related injury. The reason you purchase workers’ compensation insurance is so that you as the employer do not have to bear those costs. If you did not have a workers’ compensation policy, you would still be obligated to cover the injured employees’ medical bills and lost wages. In addition, you would most likely be fined by the PennsylvaniaDepartment of Labor for violating PA workers compensation law.

How long does an employee have to report a claim in the event of an injury or illness in order to be compensated?

An employee injury is to be reported to the employer within 21 days; if not reported within 120 days from the date of injury or having knowledge of a work-related disease, no compensation is allowed except for cases involving progressive diseases.

Who is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits?

Everyone is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in PA even though the law only requires employers to provide their employees with coverage. Corporate officers, LLC member, and sole proprietors can even cover themselves if they wish.

Are any employee injuries not covered?

All injuries are covered. There are no excluded injuries. Anything that happens while you’re working should be covered.

Call Risk Averse Insurancein Media, PA to discuss workers’ compensation coverage for your business.

Risk Averse Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.

Protect Your Business This Winter

February is the coldest month of the year in many states, and the freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your business if you’re not careful.

In the past week, the U.S. has seenrecord low temperaturesthat caused businesses to close, schools to cancel class and an influx of accidents on the road. Businesses that stayed open experienced high amounts of call-outs from employees and low amounts of customer foot traffic. Let’s face it: nobody wants to go outside in subzero temperatures.

There are several ways that you can decrease your business’ potential for majorlosses. Protect your business from cold weather-related expenses with our tips below:

Prevent Frozen Pipes

If a pipe were to burst, it would cost your business a fair amount of money. On the other hand, implementing preventativemeasures to keep this from happening is costs anywhere between cheap and free. There are many ways to keep your pipes from freezing:

  • Keep the temperature no lower than 55F.Even if your business is closed over the weekend or for an extended period, don’t turn the heat all the way down in an effort to lower yourheat bill. Keep warm air flowing through your pipes at all times, or there’s a higher chance they will freeze.
  • Allow cold water to trickle from the faucet.This may also seem like a waste, but again, the price of repairing burst pipes in comparison is enough to make a little extra water seem worth it. The consistent water running keeps the pipes warm enough to not freeze over.
  • Open any cabinet doors.If your business has a break room with cabinets, keep them open as the warm air circulating in the room will keep the pipes warm.
  • Have a backup power source.In the event of a winter storm, your business’ power may go out. A backup power source will ensure that your business stays warm even if there’s a power outage.

Create a Work-from-Home Plan

Sometimes the weather can be so bad that employees driving to work would be dangerous. Instead of forcing employees to come in regardless, give them the option to work from home if possible. This is, of course, ideal for an office setting where the majority of work is done on the computer; for some companies, working from home is impossible.

However, if you work in an office, consider providing employees with a laptop and a docking station so that they can bring their work home the day before a storm. This keeps your employees safe, provides them with the option of flexibility in the workplace, and allows for aminimal decrease in productivity. If you’re a fan ofThe Office, you might say this is a win/win/win situation!

 

Keep Sidewalks and Parking Lots Clear

Our final piece of advice to protect your business from the cold temperatures this season is to keep the sidewalks and parking areas on your property cleared. Neglecting to put in the effort to keep your customers and passersby safe is a huge liability issue. One city in Illinois, Des Plaines, even fines business owners if they do not clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of a snowstorm.

While it may seem like a pain to either hire a snow removal service or get the job done yourself, it could save you a fair amount of time and money in the event that you get sued due to a slip and fall injury. Protect your business from a claim and take the time to make sure your sidewalks and parking lots are safe to walk on.

 

Call Risk Averse Insurancein Media, PA to discuss general liability, professional liability, workers’ compensation, and a variety of other coverage options for your business.

Risk Averse Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.